You tweaked your resume, you did your research, you spent hours writing your cover letter, and watched a few (maybe many) helpful YouTube videos. And you finally landed your first video interview!
But that’s just the beginning.
An awesome resume will only walk you through the door (maybe virtually). But your interview answers will ultimately help you land that job you’ve been dreaming of.
Some interview questions can be tough. We know.
Sometimes, the interviewer gathers some of the most common interview questions and adds a little twist to them. It’s usually done to challenge you and test how you would react.
So would you like to learn how to answer these tough video interview questions like a pro?
Let’s start with these.
“Why should we hire you?”
This is one of the most common interview questions that can throw you off guard at first. But don’t let it scare you! We suggest you think of an answer that would set you apart from other candidates. If you’re conducting a video interview, then keep in mind that recruiters find it relatively hard to remember all the candidates they interview. Therefore, you must craft your answer in a very smart and memorable way.
A great way to answer to this question would be: “You should hire me because I have a passion for excellence. I’ve always been excited to utilize my skills and add great value to the organization that I work for. The KPIs I achieved in my previous job will say a lot about my dedication and performance. Therefore, I know that I will be the best person for this job because I always strived to produce lucrative results in my previous job(s).”
“Why do you want this job?”
Interviewers usually ask you this question to see if you’ve done your homework. They don’t want to hear that you’re only in it for the money, free lunch, or the convenient location. There’s a heartfelt response for this question.
You should tap into three things: how you would make the perfect cultural fit, how your skills match the position, and how enthusiastic you truly are to join the company.
A sample response would look like: “The reason I really want this job is because the company’s ethics and values are a great match to mine. I resonate with the company culture, and I believe that my skills will allow me to excel at this job. I’m also really eager to become part of an environment where employees value working together as a true team.”
“How would you deal with a problem you might encounter with a co-worker?”
Its normal to have disagreements with your coworkers. In fact, it’s inevitable. But for many candidates, this could be one of the most challenging interview questions to answer.
Interviewers on the other hand, like to ask this question. Simply because they want to see if you have strong communication skills, develop compassion and empathy for others, demonstrate great problem-solving skills, have the ability to rebuild bridges and foster strong working relationships.
A great answer would look like: “I like to follow a collaborative approach. For instance, if I encounter a problem with a co-worker, I always choose to take them to the side to resolve the matter privately. I tentatively listen to what they have to say and take their point of view into consideration. Then, I like to discuss the various ways we can work together to prevent this problem from occurring again in the future.”
“Can you explain this gap in your resume?”
This is definitely one of the most awkward interview questions to answer. How do you explain a gap year? Or the catastrophic results of the pandemic? The good news is, crafting the right answer for this question isn’t difficult.
Be honest and give a valid reason. Specify whether you were looking for a career change, a new opportunity, had a personal family problem, or that you lost your job as a result of this pandemic.
However, you must emphasize that you were staying productive and working strenuously hard on improving your skills in this long-awaited break. Whether you were volunteering, undergoing training, enrolled yourself for a certificate, or did some charity work, make sure you mention how this gap helped you improve your skills remarkably.
An impressive sample answer would be: “I had a huge gap in my CV due to [reason]. While it did take me quite some time to land a job, I did use my time wisely. I took online courses, I kept myself motivated and dedicated to my job search. I also continued to allocate a significant amount of time learning new things [give examples], updating my CV, and looking for various ways to shape my skills so I can become the best employee for any organization.”
“For what reason are you leaving your current position?”
This is a tough one. Interviewers like to ask this interview question to see if they can offer you what your previous employer did, and whether or not you had a weak working relationship with your previous employer. The best way to answer this question is to not provide too many personal details.
A simple yet effective response would look like “I really valued my time working at [X company], however, I felt like the opportunities for growth were not aligned with my career goals. Therefore, I decided to embark on a new opportunity. I find that this position aligns perfectly with my goals and skillsets, and will help me professionally grow.”
“What do people criticize the most about you?”
While there is no right or wrong way to answer this question, it can still be a tricky one. Interviewers usually ask this question to unravel any red flags, such as the qualities found in a candidate that do not fit the designated job position.
As a rule of thumb, you must appear confident, upfront, and honest while answering this question. Whether you’re usually criticized for being a perfectionist or too analytical – you want to emphasize that the criticism you receive, will not affect the way you perform at your job. Rather, you have the ability to turn that weakness into a strength.
The best way to answer this question is to mention how you improved your weakness from the criticism you’ve received. Whether its from your managers, coworkers, friends, or family members. Show your professionalism, don’t lose your composure and try not to get too defensive!
“How do you stay focused while working remotely?”
We all know that remote work isn’t always easy. If you’re conducting a video interview, then chances are you will be asked this question. If the position entails you to work remotely, then the interviewer will want to make sure that you’re not easily distracted during working hours when you’re working from home.
It’s crucially important to walk the interviewer through the process of how you plan to get things done when working remotely.
This would make a great answer “I would divide my tasks accordingly between the morning and afternoon. I would start the heavier tasks in the morning, and work my way through the smaller ones in the afternoon. I would choose and set up a calm working space, I’d move away from distractions, and I will update my to-do list accordingly so I can always keep track of my schedule.”
“Are you a team player?”
Interviewers who ask this question are hoping to gauge whether or not you are willing to collaborate with teams and how well you work with others. To prove that you are a team player, you’re going to have to tell the interviewer how you’ve worked with teammates in the past to accomplish a task or complete a project.
While you’re at it, make sure you highlight other strengths as well. Relate your answer to the job position and emphasize on how working with a team helps you become more efficient and productive as an employee.
“What is your greatest weakness?”
Strengths and weaknesses questions are always going to be a given in an interview. While it’s great to turn your weaknesses into positive traits, we highly encourage you to be truthful and honest as well. At the same time, you don’t want to pick a weakness that would raise any red flags to the interviewer and risk you being disqualified from the job.
Stay away from saying things like: “I find it difficult to work with a team.” Or “I’m always late to work.”
Instead, mention a weakness that you’re actively working on.
Here’s a great answer: “I used to find it quite hard to delegate and prioritize my time when I’m overloaded with work. However, I just recently bought a planner, and downloaded this great app that is helping me plan out my tasks perfectly!”
Maybe even throw in some humor and say “Well, I’m not that great at tennis!” A little humor never hurt anyone, right?
“Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.”
This is one of the most common behavioral interview questions asked by interviewers. Interviewers usually ask this question to learn more about how you handle and deal with difficulties. The best way to answer this question is to follow the STAR Method: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Make sure you’ve structured your answer to encompass all of the STAR elements. Set the stage for the answer by sharing a certain situation or challenge that you once faced. Then, describe the tasks that you were responsible for at the time.
Next, spread out the certain actions that helped you overcome this obstacle, and make sure you highlight the impactful steps you took. Finally, talk about the results. Mention two or three impressive outcomes and explain how this obstacle helped you grow as an employee.
Interviews can be challenging. Sometimes, interviewers can put you under the spotlight and it could be relatively hard to devise the best answers on spot. This is why we believe that preparation is key!
Answering these 10 curveball interview questions will most definitely help you build a great and lasting impression.
Remember, quite often, interviewers like to test how fast you can think, and how you respond to dynamic environments. The good news is, you’re now well equipped with all the answers to the toughest interview questions. Which means you’re ready to ace your next interview and have a greater chance at landing your dream job!